Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stuff, Stuff And More Stuff (And A Few Treasures, Too)

One of the most daunting projects when changing your lifestyle to fulltime RVing, is what to do with all your things.

I've read many other fulltimers blogs, and it seems everyone has a different way to accomplish this task.

First, I offered our sons whatever they wanted. They didn't want much! No matter how much I told them that my Hummels, collector plates and other treasures should be considered family heirlooms, they just weren't interested. Neither are married. I think if they had wives, they would have taken more. I decided I would not keep things "just in case" they wanted them later. I will keep a few personal treasures, some Christmas items, our tax returns and a few other special items. These will fit into several storage bins. Our son has agreed to keep these for us.

You may have noticed I did not mention pictures in the items I am keeping. I have scanned all of our pictures and slides (thousands of them) to our computer. I also purchased a program that allowed me to transfer VHS tapes to the computer. We had over 50 hours worth of taped band concerts, baseball games, soccer games, etc. saved on VHS tapes. It took me months to accomplish this because I edited as I went along. I kept just a bit of each event and created a file for each year. I really had fun doing this. No one had watched those tapes in a long time, and it was fun watching my little boys grow up all over again. My biggest concern was losing the files if my harddrive crashed. So, I bought three external harddrives. I copied the videos and pictures onto each one. Now each son has a copy and I have a back-up copy as well. THEN, I threw away the VHS tapes and the pictures. That was one of the hardest things I have done. At first I was going to save them, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized no one was going to look at them. They would just sit in a storage bin. So, out they went. I can hear some of you gasping as you read this. If you want to save your pictures, by all means do so! Everyone has a different tolerence for what they let go.

We began planning for our lifestyle change over three years ago. At that time, I discovered selling on ebay. It has been a very successful outlet for me to sell quite a bit of our stuff (Kevin would call it junk). I have been amazed time and time again what people will buy. It was not difficult to set up an account. I started small with a few items, and worked my way up. There is a time commitment involved; cleaning your items, taking pictures, downloading pictures, preparing well written and descriptive entries, communicating with buyers, packing the items, and then shipping them. I feel it has been extremely worthwhile. I have made over $2,000 selling our old stuff on ebay. There is no way I would have gotten the same prices at an estate sale or rummage sale. Most of what I sold were older items we had laying around from the 70s and 80s. Old toys our sons left behind fetched a nice price. My 1960s Barbie items sold for an astonishing amount. The Barbie accessories (case, clothes, kitchen) sold for more than the actual doll. Frequently, I was going to throw something away or give it to charity. At the last minute, I would decide to research it on ebay first and wind up getting a pretty penny for it. Things like used blank cassette tapes, old toys, slide projector and trays, a turntable and other old stuff laying around all sold for a decent amount. I encourage everyone to give it a try if you have the time before you must get rid of all your stuff.

Another excellent avenue for selling has been Craigslist. Items that were too large for ebay sold very well on Craigslist. When we began staging our house for selling, we sold some of our furniture. We have also sold yard items, outdoor Christmas decorations, and snow fence. All for cash, of course. No checks or money orders. Did you know crooks are now passing fake money orders? We even sold our previous 5th wheel on Craigslist.

The final step will be an estate/moving sale. I have interviewed several companies that do these types of sales in our area. After all is said and done, they end up with somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the total sales. It sounds like a lot, but in return, I don't have to deal with it. We live in a somewhat rural area and rummage sales just aren't that successful. So, once we have a firm closing date on the house, I will set a date for the estate sale.

Speaking of selling the house; still no luck. After accepting two offers, it is still not sold. The first buyers are still trying to sell their house. The second buyers just didn't work out. So, it's still being shown. To date, we've had 26 showings in 3 months. We have 5 or 6 who say they may come back for a second look or that it is in their top 2. Come on people, make us an offer!!!

We've had temperatures in the 40's the last few days. I've got spring fever! :)

"The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"